a ministry of presence

it is not your fiery presence
in the great proclamation of being
that is noticed and outstanding;

rather –

it is your silent heart’s absence,
your bleak, dark, black hole emptiness
that screams out as obvious and forlorn;

and you, you my friend are an empty space,
a vacuum of loving possibility
in the great and proud crowd of joy
that could have been
just a little
with you…

City Responds to Morden Pride Request

317GyBOBK0LKudos to Morden Mayor Brandon Burley, council and staff who responded positively to requests from the organizors of the upcoming 1st Morden Pride event on June 22.

In committee of the whole this morning (June 10) council agreed to the request to hold the Pride Rally starting at Morden Park and ending at the Access Event Centre, giving access to power at both locations and permission to raise the Pride Flag at the Access Event Centre.

When asked if he had any concerns regarding the event Morden Police Chief Brad Neduzak stated he had none and there were no plans to increase police presence, essentially treating the event as they would any other community event.

Council made a point to mention they were aware of a possible counter-protest being organized.

In explaining the city and council’s position the mayor read sections of the Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“It is our obligation to act in the best interest of all in our community,” said Burley. “We treat this as we would any other gathering. We are not permitted to act in a discriminatory fashion simply because we may or may not agree with it.”

After acknowledging the city had received numerous requests to deny or block the event the mayor stated “we have the moral obligation to follow these acts,” in reference to the Human Rights act.

Further to this Deptuty Mayor Nancy Penner mentioned the city’s policy of supporting diversity and inclusion and she will bring greetings from the city as the mayor will not be available due to a pre-scheduled travel commitment.

None of these approvals required a motion from council.

Leadership and Relationship

“I can’t work with that person!”

“Why would you want anything to do with them?”

“There’s no way I am going to be involved in this project if they are part of the team.”

Etc, etc.

I’m sure at one point or another you have heard these statements/questions or variations on their theme.

People have a way of getting on people’s nerves and often it causes us to make business decisions based on personality.

One of the software companies I worked for once signed a deal with an American distributor for well over $100,000 (big for us). They were blunt with their assessment –

“It wasn’t that you had the best or most functional product,” they explained. “It was your people. You have amazing people.”

That is the kind of environment you want to foster because like it or not major, far-reaching decisions are often made on the basis of a personality.

Now here’s the thing. That may work out for you if you have amazing people but when you’re the one making the decision in the other direction why in the world would you limit yourself on the basis of someone else’s personality.

Repeat after me – “I do not have to like a person to work with them.”

Sure it makes life a LOT easier if you do but when you start making critical decisions on the basis of not wanting to work with so-and-so because they are a jerk, well, at the end of the day you are only hurting yourself and your organization.

Heck some of the best partnerships are made between people and organizations that despise each other. What do they have in common? Business acumen. They can look past personalities to the profit margins.

Hollywood is a great place to see this live and in action. Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, Abbott and Costello, David Duchuvny and Gillian Anderson etc. None of them liked each other but they made it work for the bottom line. Professionals.

When a personality legitimately impacts the team then sure, you gather your evidence and make your case – but if it’s just two people who rub each other the wrong way, or even two businesses that cannot stand each other – do not let petty judgement and bickering get in the way of what makes sense.

Make it work.

Leadership: Waiting for Catastrophe

There are all kinds of leaders in the world. I say this in the sense that there are many different giftings that define different approaches to leadership – but leadership at its core remains the same.

As a reminder leadership is the art/ability/process by which individuals inspire others to pull in the same direction – that direction being the goal(s) set by the leader.

There is a lot of wiggle room in that definition that we do not need to go into now. Suffice to say leaders bring resources, human and otherwise, to bear on goals.

Now there is a myth that to maintain an organization is a good thing. It is the “nobody moves and nobody gets hurt style of leadership that sees people batten down the hatches and act simply to keep the ship reasonably level and afloat until port.

This is an easy myth to maintain because the masses are often deluded into thinking everything is running smoothly as long as everything is quiet – it is based on the other dangerous myth – no news is good news.

The reality of course is that organizations do not exist on a level plane but rather somewhere along a slope. Maintaining inveitably means going backwards and losing progress. To simply maintain, as a leader, is a bad thing.

A leader has goals to achieve and maintaing the status quo is not a goal – it is an anti-goal.

Such leaders hope things continue smoothly and that, should there be a catastrophe of some sort, they will be prepared for it as they have ensure well written emergency preparedness plans are in place and the policies are all in order.

To simply putter about in stasis waiting on a potential catastrophe is not leadership – it is pathetic and damaging to the organization. Entropy awaits such organizations.

Leadership is active. Leadership is momentum. Leadership moves forward.

Whether you lead a large organization or you lead a team of two take the reigns firmly and move forward or get out of the way and let someone else take over.